Environmental Policy News

Fisheries Service Requests Comments on Proposed Endangered Listing for Sharks, Rays, Skates

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has completed comprehensive status reviews under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for seven foreign marine elasmobranch species in response to a petition to list those species.


These seven species are the daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (Rhinobatos horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), narrownose smoothhound shark (Mustelus schmitti), spiny angel shark (Squatina guggenheim), Argentine angel shark (Squatina argentina), and graytail skate (Bathyraja griseocauda).

Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, NMFS determined that the daggernose shark (I. oxyrhynchus), Brazilian guitarfish (R. horkelii), striped smoothhound shark (Mustelus fasciatus), and Argentine angel shark (S. argentina) meet the definition of an endangered species under the ESA. NMFS determined that the narrownose smoothhound shark (M. schmitti) and spiny angel shark (S. guggenheim) meet the definition of a threatened species under the ESA. Therefore, NMFS proposes to list these six species under the ESA.

Additionally, NMFS determined that the graytail skate (B. griseocauda) does not warrant listing under the ESA at this time. NMFS is not proposing to designate critical habitat for any of the species proposed for listing because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and NMFS has not identified any unoccupied areas within U.S. jurisdiction that are currently essential to the conservation of any of these species. NMFS is soliciting comments on their proposal to list these six foreign marine elasmobranch species.

Comments on this proposed rule must be received by 5 February 2016. Public hearing requests must be made by 21 January 2016.

For more information, including how to comment, click here.

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